Private worship: Prayer, reading, meditation
As you likely know, worship to God and Christ has all but disappeared from the regular lives of many secular Christians these days.
Such people may not realize the strength, edification, and joy that comes from proper Biblical worship—or that regular worship
(both public and private worship) is actually commanded by our God.
To say that "Worship is an important part of our service to God" is an understatement; it is incredibly vital to our lives.
First, to grasp the love and grace of God will automatically result in worship, praise, and adoration that God,
and our Lord Jesus Christ, so greatly deserve.
But worship is also commanded—in fact, on a regular basis (as we'll notice soon)—which should lead us to
realize that we benefit greatly from doing so. For God would not command us
to do something that was not in our long-term best interest.
In this article we seek to briefly examine private worship.
For PART 1 of this series, please click here.
For PART 2 of this series, please click here.
Private worship is our personal worship to God as we pray privately, read the Bible, sing a spiritual song, mediate on spiritual
matters—and/or the like.
Of course, it is only natural
that we should be praising God in our hearts on a daily—if not hourly—basis as we are reminded continually of the great
things He has done for us through our Lord Jesus Christ! In fact, the books of Psalm are excellent examples of King David's spontaneous worship to the One he was
so thankful for.
The Bible often speaks of how we should be privately worshiping God. On the topic of prayer, the Bible commands us to
"Pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus also gave us an example of how we should pray. He said:
...when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret,
will reward you.
Our private meditation, prayer and Bible study are extremely important to the development of character and spirit. That's
why it is essential that we take the time out of our busy schedules and develop a meaningful prayer relationship with our heavenly Father.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do
not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
This, then, is how you should pray:
"Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our
debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one."
For if you forgive men
when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not
forgive your sins.
Remember this: Jesus said in Matthew 7 that many religious people would be hearing the fateful words from Christ: "I never knew you."
So, let's get to know our
heavenly Father by praying to Him often and thanking Him for our blessings, and asking for assistance in our spiritual deficiencies
and areas of weakness. God will answer our prayers if we ask according to His will, in faith and without doubting. The Bible says:
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God...and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he
who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord;
he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Just as we communicate to God in prayer, God communicates to us through His word. So, in addition to an active prayer life,
we must also be active in reading, studying, and meditating on God's word. The Bible says:
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness
and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
If we want to be called "noble in God's sight," we should follow the example of the Bereans.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
We must let the words of the Spirit be active in our minds by meditating on them often. Paul wrote:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
Does God's word dwell in you "richly?" Are you intimate with the words of God in the Bible, and do you think about them often?
Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I
give you...Observe them carefully...These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress
them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up...
Are we careful when obeying the word of God? Do we try hard to get it right, to "fulfill all righteousness?"
Also, it's hard to impress them on our children if we haven't impressed them on ourselves first!
(Deuteronomy 4:2, 6; 6:6-7, 25)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
Paul reminds us of the care we must take when handling God's message; we must be sure to handle it correctly. For God does not allow the
meaning of His word to be modified by men—in order to better fit their traditional understanding or comfort zones, for example.
(2 Timothy 2:15)
If you need help contacting a congregation that worships God "in spirit and in truth", please
and we will plan to help direct you to a nearby church.